Let me start off honestly, I wasn’t expecting much to take place in the second installment of this Robot film before I watched it. Fortunate to say, my opinion faltered and the entertainment received was worth it.
2.0, directed by S. Shankar, is the return of our beloved superhero machine Chitti the Robot. Starring Superstar Rajnikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson and many more, this film makes up for a great performance and a beautiful example of the VFX progression in Bollywood.
The film begins with a lone man walking among birds towards a cell tower to hang himself. We then get taken to the city of Chennai where Dr. Vasigaran (Rajnikanth) resides with his robotic assistant Nila (Amy Jackson). The plot continues with visuals with people on their phones, everywhere you look. Suddenly, these phones get snatched from their hands into the sky and vanish into thin air. Everyone falls victim to this. Before the phones vanish, they show a video of a bird and poof! Vasigaran gets on board with Ministers to figure out a scientific explanation to this. Nila and him use their tech to look for the missing phones when they witness a fifth force, a culmination of all the cell phones into a bird’s claw trying to kill them. Vasi comes back to report this and requests to bring back Chitti despite what happened in the past. He knows that the only force needed to defeat this villain was his own creation. After a series of hyperlinked deaths that take place, with the murders done by cellphones, as if they had a mind of their own, Chitti is agreed to be brought back.
Chitti comes back, the way that he was before, and they work on capturing this fifth force. Right before the movie takes an interval, we find out that the fifth force is a man named Pakshirajan (Akshay Kumar) who was the one that committed suicide in the beginning of the film, and his aura is back for revenge.
The film focuses on social issues as well as complex character traits. It contains a villain that you sympathize with and a protagonist that you root for throughout the film. It is a wonderful watch if you ever are in the mood for exaggerated yet interesting cinema.
What caught my attention about the film making aspect were a few things:
- Performances: This one is a no-brainer. You have Rajnikanth and Akshay Kumar who are two great actors known for their ability to immerse themselves into the characters they play on screen. Rajnikanth especially had a previous role to channel, from the previous chapter, Robot, and he justified it wonderfully. Akshay was mainly through holograms in the film but every scene with him in flesh and skin, you as an audience would just be amazed at his screen presence. Kudos to Amy Jackson for not losing even a second’s composure throughout. She had to channel a robot and not once did it look like she could pass for a human, it was a methodical performance.
- VFX/Graphics: Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The film was highly based around the VFX aspect as it needed to portray a fifth force which wasn’t a human. The protagonist is a robot so basically the whole plot is built on graphics. It had no errors, nothing seemed unreal and it felt as close to the higher standards of VFX editing as it could possibly could. They obviously took it overboard with the freedom and exaggerated a lot of the action scenes but well, that’s a Rajnikanth film for you.
- Cinematography: The film’s critical acclaim lies in the shots that it has. It gave some mesmerizing ones and some common ones as well. The outstanding feature of this aspect was the aerial shots. Being an audience and going through a superhero film the way they took us was a lovely take that is hardly seen in Bollywood.
- Music: A.R Rahman being the music director gives this movie a boost with every song that was present. It jogs you through emotions and does it wonderfully. Other than that, the background score and the sound effects used throughout are catchy and compel you to get curious for the next shot.
- Writing: Not just the story line but the dialogues are an absolute marvel in the film. The story line is a great one, it takes on a serious issue and gives it the twist of Bollywood while also sticking with a great conclusion. The dialogues are a way of showing us Chitti’s personality and how witty he gets once he’s reloaded as 2.0. It really is the only boost that the robots get as they don’t have much of body language to work with, their dialogues are the only character traits that matter and so it justifies perfectly.
The film, in retrospect, was a long one. The story seemed to have loops that didn’t seem needed. Akshay Kumar’s entry doesn’t happen until the interval so there’s a lot of waiting around that the audience has to do to gain answers.
If the film was shortened and the story line was perfected, this film could’ve been one of the top films of 2018 but I guess it already is there due to the cast and the wonderful work with editing and graphics.
I would personally rate this film 3 chirps for a wonderful attempt at flawless VFX, great story line and even better performances. It was a predictable film and follows the course of it’s former film so there’s not much of a character development or new element to look for other than the villain’s point of view.